EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES IN SCOTTSDALE
It’s important to understand that Domestic Violence is not by itself a criminal charge. It’s a designation that attaches to many different criminal charges. The designation will be attached depending on the relationship the accused has with the victim. Some of the more common relationships that will automatically prompt a Domestic Violence designation include: spouse, parent, child, grandparent, roommate, boyfriend/girlfriend, former boyfriend/girlfriend, or share a child in common.
TYPES OF CHARGES ASSOCIATED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
People often think that Domestic Violence is the traditional facts of causing violence to another person – pushing, slapping, punching. While our office represents people who are charged with the traditional type of Domestic Violence, most of our cases involve fact patterns that you would not believe are Domestic violence. For example, it is extremely common for our lawyers to represent someone who gets into an argument with their boyfriend/girlfriend in their own apartment or outside of a night club. If a neighbor or bystander calls the police, the person who appeared to be the instigator of the shouting match will be cited for Disorderly Conduct with a Domestic Violence designation. The other scenario we commonly see is two people arguing at home and one of the parties punches a hole in the door or wall. As soon as the police are called and they observe damage, they will be arrested for Criminal Damage with a Domestic Violence designation. The person will still be arrested even if they owned the property allegedly damaged.
Some of the more common types of Domestic Violence charges we see in Scottsdale include:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Criminal Damage
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE “VICTIM” WANTS TO DROP CHARGES?
Our lawyers get this question with most all Domestic Violence cases. The alleged victim is the one who called the police and may have done so just to diffuse the situation or may be even called the police out of spite – being a knee jerk reaction. They never intended for the other person to be arrested and now feel bad they are facing criminal charges. The problem is, once the police are called and a person is arrested or cited for Domestic Violence, this cannot be undone.
Judges and prosecutors are used to hearing from the victims about their desire to have the charges dismissed. A judge or prosecutor does not want the liability of dismissing a Domestic Violence case and then finding out that something more serious happened to the victim in the future. Cases will be prosecuted even if the alleged victim no longer wants to press charges. This is why it is important for a person accused of Domestic Violence to hire a lawyer to fight their case and get charges dismissed.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE VICTIM DOES NOT SHOW UP?
Victims do not have to show up for the small procedural hearings leading up to a trial. For example, your first hearing is called a Not Guilty Arraignment. The victim does not, and most of the time will not, show up at this hearing. Your next court dates will be Pre-Trial Conferences. Again, there is no need for the victim to appear at this hearing. The only hearing the victim must appear at is the actual Trial of your case.
There are some courts that will automatically dismiss a Domestic Violence case if the victim doesn’t show up at trial. Scottsdale is not one of these courts. Victims are subpoenaed to testify at trial. If the victim does not show up, the Prosecutor will ask the judge to hold the Victim in contempt of court and will receive a continuation of the trial to find the victim and have law enforcement bring them to the next trial setting.
If you call a law firm for your Scottsdale Domestic Violence charge and they discuss the strategy of setting your case to trial in hopes of the victim not showing, do not hire them, they are inexperienced and don’t know what they’re talking about. You can trust everything our lawyers say about Scottsdale Court because we are at the Scottsdale Court every day handling cases similar to yours. We know everything there is to know about the procedures of Scottsdale Court.